Britain First leader Paul Golding who is charged with intending to stir up hatred appeared in court in Ballymena on Thursday and was released on continuing bail

Paul Golding.

BRITAIN First leader Paul Golding has been granted continuing bail in Ballymena in connection with ‘hate’ charges.

He is charged with two counts of being in ‘possession of matter which intended to stir up hatred/arouse a fear’.

Golding is further charged with one count of ‘displaying written material which was threatening, abusive or insulting intending thereby to stir up hatred or arouse fear’.

A fourth charge accuses him of publishing ‘written material which was threatening, abusive or insulting, intending thereby to stir up hatred or arouse fear’.

The charges relate to October 20 and October 24 last year.

The 36-year-old whose address was given as Shore Crescent in Belfast appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday.

He originally appeared on the charges in mid-November last year.

The charges followed his arrest on Wednesday 24 October, 2018, in connection with alleged incidents relating to the Ballymena area on October 20 and October 24.

Golding had visited Ballymena at the time in relation to the Far Right group which he leads.

Britain First held rallies in the County Antrim town.

Golding spoke at the first rally but his police bail conditions prevented him from attending the second rally.

Britain First had gone to Ballymena at a time when tensions had increased regarding aspects of foreign migration to the town.

Following the November court appearance, Golding was released on £500 bail with conditions which included not being allowed within 500 metres of any parade, protest or public demonstration in Northern Ireland.

He was also barred from Ballymena apart from attending court and he was not to be at Dunsilly car park near Antrim between 5-10pm on Saturdays.

That was believed to be a reference to a bus service from Romania which had a drop off point there.

Golding was not to be in possession of any material which could stir up hatred and was not to distribute leaflets.

He was bailed to the address in Belfast and had to report to police once a week and he was allowed to travel to England if he contacted police in advance.

At court on Thursday, Golding was wearing a suit, and entered the dock for a short time.

He was accompanied by four supporters who sat in the front row of the public gallery. Three of them were wearing coats with Britain First insignia and large letters on the back saying ‘BFD’.

A prosecution lawyer told the court the full file in the case is expected to be received soon and asked for a four week adjournment.

A defence barrister for Golding told the court her client had to return to England.

A co-accused, with a different address at Shore Crescent in Belfast, was in the dock beside Golding.

Lee Daniel Brown (28), is charged with displaying written material intending to stir up hatred and two further charges of distributing written material intending to stir up hatred in the Moat Road area of Ballymena last October.

Both men were released on continuing bail and their cases were adjourned until February.

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